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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

A lifetime starved for Air...

Let me toss out my (way to long) life story just to see if it fits or helps anyone. Although this story is long if you read it you may have a lightbulb go off over your head if you case or life is similar....also if you have any ideas for me please post them.

As a baby:I was diagnosed with "Asthma" at birth (Keep in mind Asthma diagnoses back in 1959 were just doctors making guess at wheezing and congestion, no lab work at all was ever done), a few remarkable things took place like the birth doc said my birth caul had a small leak from the very beginning. Later on still as a baby, I fell into a mucky river where my folks were having a picnic, dad had a long time finding me in the muddy water they say.

As a teen: I was fed normal foods that most teens got, Pizza, Milk, PB sandwiches, ect....But for the most part I only got very (hospital stay/oxygen tent) sick in New Hampshire during spring, when the molds would begin to grow and lawns were mowed. Other than that being a military kid and being moved all over about every 4 years I have lived in many states.

As a Pre-Adult Teen: My mom had way too many cats, then later switched to owning a bunch of small dogs. I was all stressed out (and violent & suicidal even at times) I was showing more asthma attacks than usual, my skin was horribly broken out too as a teen I was thin and ugly and no one liked me much. Something was wrong!

My 20's: I met 1st hubby and moved to a nice (clean) apartment where no pets were allowed, I was less sick than ever before in my life. at times I could go for a few years without having an attack.

My 30's: Married my 2nd hubby, still in another clean apartment until I had to care for my aging father at his (yep. back to mom's old) house.

My 40's: Wow, ok even though there are no more of Mom's pets here, I got 2 dogs that were allowed to come inside at times and we got Dad a cat for his lap since he had no one to cuddle. I had cleaned and painted mom's house until I felt it was livable. It was '96 when I moved in. We turned the double car garage into our bedroom with our own heaters and air conditioners in it. My "attacks" began to come back!!

Mid 2004, I was found in my back yard so very sick trying to breath the night air that I was totally went brain stupid (from no air) and I was seriously hallucinating a spaceship. Well that turned into an expensive 11 day stay to the hospital quick. Only problem was the Docs don't like to give antibiotics now so much and I only had a low grade fever. The ER docs put me on a machine/mask that forcefully aided my breathing since my husband wouldn't let them intubate me in the ER.
Now comes the part that scared me the most. Stupid doctors! The scourge of the world! I am sure you know these guys. They just "assumed" it was asthma and they were going to "fix" me by giving me mist type asthma treatments every 2 hours and loading me up on the "dreaded steroids" Stupid Doctors didn't even bother to x-ray my chest for the first 7 days I was there! I never heard what they thought of the x-ray. I was slowly drowning (sp) from that horrible steroid water gain ( I just wonder how many folks have died from steroid drowning when their lungs were too congested to handle more water weight gain.) I gained 10lbs within 4 days on hospital steroids! I may not have known much in my life but I KNOW when I am being drowned!
I started refusing the steroids and faked real hard to get out of there ASAP! It was hard to fake because I was very very sick. Looking & acting healthy when your dying is very hard to do, lots of makeup and smiles.

Thank goodness I made it out and quickly back to a "great" Doc I had.
He sent me for x-rays that day and showed them too me while he remarked that he had NEVER seen an x-ray where both lungs were totally white even to the very edges of the lungs on film. He quickly put me on a "as needed" home oxygen machine and loaded me up with antibiotics. He also gave me a home asthma mister machine only if I needed it while recovering.
He's a great man, he totally saved my life! He agreed that some docs give out steroids way to easily for everything but he stressed to me that was off the record, he even said that some Docs get perks for doling out the latest medicine crazes. (New Crazed meds are a big business with stock holders to impress.) My Doc likes the older tried & true meds, me too...did I say that I love my Doc! In my past as a teen I had 2 of those skin allergy tests in my life once as a kid and again as a teen, they showed very little allergies, some grass, cat & dog dander and house dust but they were never what I call "accurate" I was only finding lousy or just down right bad doctors.
In the attempt to save my life my "great" doctor! Listened to my entire life story( something most won't do ) and he sent me for the blood type allergy tests. Those measure the antibodies in your blood that actually attack things like egg, cheese, milk proteins in your blood! Anything your allergic too your blood kind of attacks! It can even compromise your immune system.
Well, I was stunned! I was told that I am extremely-high off the charts allergic to dogs & cats ( my doc said breathing cat or dog is like breathing acid in my lungs) and soy ( remind me to thank the food admin for allowing soy into everything sold in the grocery stores and for promoting a worthless crop just to feed the masses, when I was young, farmers we knew considered it a junk crop barely suitable for cows to eat!) my next high allergens are rye lawn grass and everything a teen loves to eat! Peanuts ( and all the plants related to them) I am totally allergic to Milk and all milk products ( lactate *milk* products are in everything found on store shelves including some meats) I am also allergic to corn and eggs! Just try finding snacks that don't have corn, eggs or a milk product in them! My Doc even told me that I should stay away from glutens, in wheat and other grains, bread, ect because they kind of gum up people that may have breathing issues even if they aren't allergic!

OK, so what I gather from surviving a mass of bad doctors, incorrect meds and horrible allergies that were so bad they actually compromised my immune system, my "great" Doc says that he figures it wasn't just asthma but he leans more towards the feeling that I had a double case of immune compromised walking-pneumonia. I never felt like I had pneumonia but he said the walking kind is hard to know until you drop from it.

My recovery has been slow but I have long since put the oxygen machine, and the nebulizer away, I had to have my hubby build a dog kennel further down the backyard and down wind even though my Doc said get rid of them totally. I got soft and I let the cat stay indoors with dad while we live in the garage on our own heating and cool air system, with 4 air ionizers available if I need them all on lawn mowing days (most folks here have my allergy type rye grass).
My diet is the hardest! I practically live on rice and rice milk and chicken and goat. I can hardly find "safe" foods in the supermarket anymore thanks to the junk allowed into foods now. I gave up all beef due to the "alleged" steroids and antibiotics and other mad cow problems".
But! I am alive! And slowly getting better! My doc said I probably have been eating, breathing and owning all the things that I should have never been allowed to eat, drink or be around. My Doc won't even eat beef anymore. He eats only fish, chicken, turkey and goat, he is so healthy, you can see it in his eye glimmer, his step and he has zero body fat at almost 8 feet tall!

The only bad things I have left over from all these ills and life changes was a super bad case of pleurisy from the pneumonia
and I do still suffer from air starvation, but if I eat the wrong thing for me, or also I noticed if the barometer is rising or falling I will feel air starved and or even a drowning sensation. Doc said the barometer sensitivity may be from the left over pleurisy or some bronchials still blocked or scarred closed and reacting to the pressure around me. Once the
barometer stops moving in about 20-30 minutes I will begin to feel better.

The reason I wrote all of this is that, if your air starved investigate EVERYTHING!
You might want to get the anti-body type blood allergy tests (one for foods and one for things like dust/animals) don't waste money on those skin scratch allergy tests, and consider buying or borrowing a barometer that shows clear rising/falling activity. You might watch the steroids too, not every one can take them for every illness.
Get a Doctor that will take his time with you and investigate your special circumstances instead of just pushing prescriptions.

Multiple Allergies that you may not even know you have, can finally reach a time bomb overload point and can compromise your immune system at a point leaving you open to pneumonia and many other genetic prone diseases in your family genes. Kids are NOT the only "important ones" with life threatening silent time bomb type allergies. Food allergies work slow in most cases dragging your immune system down.

And to close... I asked my Doc why do I seriously love things that I am allergic to, like ice cream, butters, milk gravies, dog & cats. He said that when we are exposed to allergens our brains produce endorphins to counter the allergen response, Remember endorphins? The all natural all powerful stoning brain drug we all love? Yep, your most favorite thing could be what's making you sick while your brain just gets addicted to the endorphins...This could even explain those strange neighborhood "cat collecting ladies" like my mom was in her day.

Gotta run, My turkey & rice dinner is done and the barometer is falling again so I know to eat extra light.
Goodluck & many healing hugs Val~
Wow, what a story. I really believe as you have found out, that what we eat has a tremendous impact on our allergies and breathing problems. I asked my allergy doctor to give me a test for food allergies once and he told me it is no use. If I had a food allergy, my lips and mouth would itch and swell if I had those foods. I believe I have a sensitivity to wheat and dairy. So I am completely cutting wheat out and only have a little cream in my coffee. I am fortunate that my asthma is not severe, I am able to control it with Advair. Also steroids do not other me. I was on a short course of them for bronchitis recently and I never felt better. But I do know they are not good for you and to only use them when necessary. Also they were very low (4 mg.). Since you have been on steroids multiple times, you could have candida which is a internal yeast problems. You may have already considered this. It is more common than most doctors think. I am working with a pharmacist that compounds her own hormone creams, She is very into naturals and eating properly. She said sometimes women get "dry" lungs when they go into menopause because of hormone imbalances. There is still so much we do not know. I really respect doctors that take the time to investigate everything instead of just loading you up with drugs and send you on your way. I am happy for you and hope you continue to improve!
HI Cindy!

I guess everyone's tollerance is a bit different.
Now, my dog & cat allergy will send me straight to the ER room with swollen lungs in about 20 minutes. I even live in fear of people in public that have pet hair on their clothing, it's just that bad. I lost many friends that had pets in their home since I just could not visit them any more.

My corn allergy makes drinking corn sweetened sodas just like "I just sipped some battery acid" I get a mouth burn reaction on the first sips. It's as sharp as eating a lemon wedge would feel to most people I guess.
Some foods do give me a light sun burn feeling across my face in the area where a surgery mask would fit over your face.

Most of my other food allergies I never even knew about like the milk & eggs and other foods just caused me to think that I had IBS or I would get a lot of gas or tummy aches or even reflux symptoms at night.

She (my allergist) did warn me that I am so allergic to so many foods that it can just surprise me at any time with a "food allergy overload".
She told me things like my peanut allergy, even in kids, most can be allergic and see or feel no reaction and snack on them some but they run a risk of hitting a dangerous overload where that one final peanut can cause a trip to the ER.

Another allergist told me that food allergies are rarely like a bee sting allergy victim that swells up instantly, yet they can silently drag your system down until you catch other illnesses your prone to.

I really loved eggs & milk too, "one favorite was *sigh* eggs benedict with real hollandise" the most drinking milk would do to me was leave a bad after taste in my mouth after drinking it. I thought that was natural for milk to do to everyone. Eggs just gave me IBS swelling belly type symptoms and gas.

What I really think about the FDA & allergies is they figure that if we survive allergies into our teen years then we are relatively safe, little do they know!
We all know they have never been wrong before! Right? Ha!
It really makes me wonder just what they would do if every adult had the blood type allergy tests, I think the results would be shocking to everyone.
I definaltely know I was shocked & surprised by mine! My 2 skin scratch tests had showed very little but the blood test for antibodies to allergens came back with super high numbers and lots of red ink scribbled on it. Like you, I too had allergy doctors in my past that swore only by the scratch tests and that the blood type test were not any good (Yet not one could ever give me a fair reason of logic why they thought that way, maybe they don't want to run them because they are very expensive and carry less profit margin? )My "wonderful" doctor, told me that the older blood tests in the past were unfavored by some due to the limited itesm and results but he said the newer lab test that I got were much more exact now days and they have more items on the test with better results. (So much for my conspiracy profit theory)
I know my results had lots of items tested for. I still need to get the 3rd one, it's a second food test that covers more things like fruit, strawberries allergies and such. I'm praying they don't show I have many fruit allergies because that's the only thing I have left for desserts anymore. I am running out of food selections to eat. : \

I thought about the lung candida already and I am on a course of antibotics now for the hope that it's just left pneumonia damage like they thought just in case, to try one last time before moving up to the lung fungal tests.
I hate needles and the description of that lung test.
I did have some massive extensive oral surgery before I got sick and my Dentist never warned me about the implications of wrecking my lungs with the inhaled oral candida plus the first antibotic run she gave me didn't hold. What gets me is, I don't have the "fuzzy gullet, itchy lung sensation most lung candida folks describe" I am just not getting full breaths and my asthma has not been able to stabilize yet, like it usually does after a time.

My next great task at my age is trying to find a good hormone supplement when "that time" comes that doesn't have the soy in it that I am allergic to. They all seem to have soy! I read about the mares urine type of hormones and I think I would just rather suffer and grow a beard before taking that, haha!

Thanks for reading my long story above and replying. I had just joined and this forum is great! In the future I promise everyone much shorter posts. :)

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